lolaraincoat: (snowshoe hare)
So I was talking with a friend who teaches in another department at The University with the Name That Rhymes with Spork. She said, "I'm worried about this new Associate Dean."

I said, "Yeah, I had some dealings with her when I was running our grad program and she was on the grad faculty, and not all of them went all that smoothly."

And my friend said, "Well actually what worries me is that I was kind of mean to her when we were both in high school. I mean, if I known I was going to end up working for her ..."

Meanwhile we also have a new(ish) dean who is making himself unpopular with the faculty - even less popular than mid-level administrators usually are. His big new innovation is enforcing rules related to paperwork, to ensure financial probity and cut down on waste. So now when we are making budget requisitions (for example to reimburse ourselves for minor expenses by charging them against the budgets of grants, if we have grants) we have to fill out a spiffy new two-page form, as opposed to the previous one-page form, and then sign it in blue ink. If we accidentally sign it in another color of ink, or if either of the requisite two counter-signatures by other people are in another color, the form gets rejected and we have to submit it again. But since the dean's office neglected to send out a memo or anything to let anyone know about this new rule, a whole bunch of people (me included) got our expense forms bounced back to us because they were signed in black ink. And no note was attached explaining why. If our department secretary didn't have a sister working in the dean's office we would never have known.

There's this whole complicated mess involving getting copyright clearance for every single item on our course websites which will take too long to explain and is too complicated to go into so I will just say that even though I am not even teaching this term and don't have to worry about it until December, and by then the rules will have changed at least once since they seem to be completely revised every six weeks, the whole nightmareish disaster is making me sad.
lolaraincoat: (snowshoe hare)
I just got back from the funeral procession, and then the funeral, for Jack Layton. It was kind of amazing. )

Living here in this orderly and sometimes red-tape-ridden city, I often wish for more of what Mexico City has – that sense of desmadre, the feeling that everything is going to tilt over into chaos at any second (but not always in a bad way.) It was so good to be reminded that Toronto can rise to the occasion once in a while, that we too can improvise celebrations of death and life, and make meaning out of disaster.


...
lolaraincoat: drawing of bear, standing (standing bear)
So [livejournal.com profile] fishwhistle and I were trading comments about, yes, Sarah Palin again, over at [livejournal.com profile] idlerat's lj and then I wandered over to his desk:

me: Ah, the comedy stylings of Lola and Fishwhistle! Thank you, thank you, we'll be here all week ...

Fishwhistle, pointing to his own damn comment: And look here, this is even funnier.

me, chagrined to learn that this was true: Damnit Fishwhistle, you're always topping me - oh wait -

Fishwhistle, triumphantly: IN EUROPE! ... pity you can't post that.

me: oh yeah?


~~~

And I know I said, three posts ago, that I was going to step away from the wacky Sarah Palin facts, but ... I'm not. Stage an intervention if you must. But first:

From a link provided by, among others, the delightful Ms. [livejournal.com profile] djinnj, this is a collection of facts taken from Alaska newspapers by Democratic party researchers to aid opposition to Palin when she ran for Governor of Alaska two years ago. It's all good but here are some highlights:

* While Mayor of Wasilla, she presided over a wedding in the local Walmart of two Walmart employees. It made her teary. "It's so Wasilla!" she said. Among the attendees: passengers from a tour bus.

* Her brother-in-law was a losing contestant on a reality-TV show about dating. He crashed his mountain bike in the first episode.

* In 1996, she drove to Anchorage on the pretext of a visit to Costco, but really to see Ivana Trump at JC Penney's cosmetic counter. She told a local reporter how wonderful the event was because "we are so desparate in Alaska for any semblance of culture or glamour." [note Canadian spelling. More on this later. Am desperately researching possible Canadian angle. Are we sure Alaska is really in the US?]

* Either she welshed on a bet, or she has the Big Dipper tattooed on an ankle.

From other ramblings around the internet - this is somewhat less reliable - it appears that she's not a fundamentalist at all, but a member of an Assembly of God congregation, which is to say a speaking-in-tongues Pentacostalist. If there is any justice in this universe at all, there will be video of her or her family members handling snakes, and McCain will lose the entire right-wing Christian vote except for the other Pentacostals and maybe the right-wing Unitarians.

Finally, apropos of last night's speech, somebody in a comment thread over at Making Light quoted this from some other comment thread on some blog, so we'll just have to attribute it to Anonymous Internet Genius:

"Mrs. Palin needs to be reminded that Jesus Christ was a community organizer and Pontius Pilate was a governor."
lolaraincoat: (where you'll find me)
So middle-class people who have lived in this part of the world for more than a generation all seem to do the same thing - they have weekend places, invariably known as "cottages," two or three hours away near or on a lake, and they spend as much time as possible there during the summers. I've never been to one of these before but in a few hours will be joining a few colleagues at another colleague's cottage for a couple of days (this cottage-owning colleague is actually first-generation Canadian, like me, but her ex is from a local family with deep roots here, and I suspect it was his first.) If you promise not to break the internet while I'm gone, I promise to tell you all about it when I return.


...
lolaraincoat: drawing of phone wirse (wires)
Okay, so, I lost my cell phone two weeks ago. And I have to say I have not missed it much, really I have not, I hate the phone, but I also find I can't live without the frigging thing, so I am finally going to get a new phone and a new service provider (fuck you Bell Mobility! Fuck you very much!) and I will still have the same cell phone number because you can do that in Canada now, yay, but I will not have any phone numbers programmed into it, SO if you are a person whose phone number I would have had previously, would you please email me with your numbers and I will put them in?

It's sort of sad because that old cell phone was a piece of shit but there were phone numbers in there for four people who are dead now, and I liked seeing their names on my contacts list on that phone.


...

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